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TN Counties Get Military Surplus Humvees

ERWIN, Tenn. (AP) — The Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office has a better way of getting around in rugged terrain because of a military surplus donation.
Sheriff Mike Hensley told The Johnson City Press (http://bit.ly/TGB4ew ) the department now has two humvees that can be used to get to remote locations.
The department already had some four-wheel-drive SUVs, but they don’t have the off-road capabilities of the military vehicles.
“We use them on patrol, and we don’t want them to be torn up if we can keep from it, Hensley said of the standard sport utility vehicles. “They’re not designed to go into disaster areas like (the humvees) are.”
Hensley said his department recently picked up the vehicles in South Carolina at no cost to the county. Nearby Washington and Carter counties previously used the military surplus program to obtain vehicles. In fact, it was Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal who suggested Hensley look into the surplus program. Six weeks from when he applied, the vehicles were ready.
“It’s a good asset for the county,” Hensley said of the military’s surplus program. “That means we don’t have to buy it and we can use it. It is a good program.”
The four-wheel-drive Humvees have high ground clearance and will be used for off-road travel and also on snow-covered roads.
Hensley said maintenance records will be kept and the humvees must be kept by the department for a specified time, but then could be sold if no longer needed and the funds would go to the county. The sheriff said his department is checking what other surplus equipment is available.
“Since the war is winding down in Afghanistan, there’s more equipment coming in, and anything we can use here we’re going to try to get,” Hensley said.